A variety of potentially divisive issues, ranging from immigration to gun control, were discussed by U.S. Roman Catholic bishops during a national meeting in Baltimore last week. Dealing with the elephant in the room ought to be at the top of their agenda.

Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, who is archbishop of the Galveston-Houston diocese, is ending a three-year term as head of the national Conference of Catholic Bishops. Much of his time in the post has been dominated by controversy over the church’s handling of predator priests — and those with even higher positions in the church.

Cardinal DiNardo has been involved personally in the scandal. He has been accused, like many others in the church, of not acting decisively enough after receiving reports of abuse. At one point, according to The Associated Press, investigators in Texas raided his chancery in search of documents involving one priest accused of molesting a child.

During a speech to the church officials gathered in Baltimore, the cardinal said meetings with abuse survivors “forever changed” his life. “When too many within the church sought to keep them in the darkness, they refused to be relegated to the shadows,” he said.

During the past few years, there has been much talk of reform from within the church. It was discussed again last week in Baltimore.

But as the bishops are aware, not enough is being done to ensure the church is transparent with regard to abuses by the clergy.

Cardinal DiNardo is right. He told those in Baltimore that steps taken to date “are only a beginning. More needs to and will be done.”

Let us hope so. Real transparency would be a good start.

(8) comments

CRT

The Catholic leadership knew about this abuse, along with the abuse of nuns (including forced abortion) for decades. They would move the offenders into new parishes without telling them of past allegations. Those who've been found out including those in church leadership such as Cardinal McCarrrick. To this day, the Church tries to thwart government investigation into abuses, both sexual and financial. Look at what has happened in WV this year.

DaWholeTruth

Child abuse of all kinds has & still does continue within ALL organizations, professions, walks of life, as well as within families themselves - in fact the majority of incidences of sexual abuse of children is very sadly perpetrated by a relative of the child. Teachers have notoriously been convicted of such abuse, but we continue to send our youths to school - knowing the majority of teachers are ethical. Such abuse has been perpetrated within ALL sects of Christianity yet many continue to attend services & do not lose faith. So too, the vast majority of Catholic priests have never abused children whatsoever but since the Catholic church maintains over a billion followers worldwide - far more than any other Christian sext - it obviously but unfortunately has therefore had more incidences of infiltration of pedophiles as compared to churches with less followers. As far as not properly reporting & remedying such incidents - such was, also again unfortunately, commonplace until fairly recently - even within family units themselves wherein such abuse occurred. The question ought to instead be: Why would 1.2 billion followers walk away from their faith and their relationship with God knowing full well that both evil and illness exist in this world? As followers of Christ, we seek to instead do what we can to make a positive difference in the world around us and instill the changes that are necessary to enact such positivity. With the billions of dollars the Catholic church donates to spread the word of God through Catholic Charities as but one single example alone - why would any sane or righteous person abandon her knowing that evil will never prevail in the end?

CRT

The Christian sects with the most abuse seem to be the Catholics, Mormons and the SBC. What do those denominations have in common? They both keep women out of leadership positions.

Ping

You a Christian, CRT?

slowe

Your “excuse making” is unconvincing. Churches, especially the Catholic Church play the role as moral leader, moral guider, moral model. Not only do they practice pedophilia but they work, with their eyes wide open, to cover it up and in fact perpetuate it by transferring these criminal, sinful priests into other parishes to again, repeat their sins on new unsuspecting children and parents. The church has lost its moral authority and “street creed”. It is tainted beyond repair and should be abandoned all together. Humanism (putting humans first) is better than theism (putting an imaginary parental surrogate first).

Ping

I think you mean "street cred". And I believe churches have more street cred than humanism as a creed.

slowe

Why is anyone STILL a Catholic? After all the sins committed by the leadership, their role models? They have no moral authority anymore. They promote misogyny, homophobia and deny and ignore their own child abuse. Why would anyone remain a member of such an organization?

Ping

Why is anybody a Democrat?

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